Fairy Tail: Final Season
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 282 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
Welcome to the action episode of Fairy Tail! Not that most episodes aren't action-packed, but this one marks the first major battle with most of our main cast. That's not surprising, since prior to the end of last week, we had no way of knowing if Team Natsu, let alone all of Fairy Tail, would ever come back together, so in some senses, this is a big deal because it does away with half of that concern for good. With the reveal that Gray was working for Erza in investigating the Avatar cult, we now have all five humans and two cats who make up the group back in the fold, six if you count Juvia. (I'm torn on that one, personally.) And you know what that means – it's time for everyone to strut their stuff and show off just how much they've grown in the year since they were last together.
In some ways, that's what makes this episode fun and exciting. It would have been easy to write off Lucy's new Star Dress transformations as just fanservice, but now that we've seen her use Taurus, it's clear that that is not the case. The outfit may not offer much support (bras need to cover the entire underboob area to provide support, artists), but it has drastically upped her physical strength. Given how people have generally regarded her as the weak link magic-wise, whether or not that's strictly true, this is a major coup for Lucy. Her magic may not be as flashy or destructive as her teammates', but she's clearly grown as a magician just as much as they have.
Wendy gets to be the second most impressive in terms of magical power changes, because frankly we expect Gray, Natsu, and Erza to be ridiculously overpowered. Like Lucy, Wendy can now really hold her own with more than just support or healing magic, and Carla's doing pretty well too with her new human form. (The scene where she smacks a guy with her tail is kind of great.) Yes, probably the girls' new power-ups still pale in comparison to the guys' and will still be more back up than main attackers, but it's still impressive how far they've come in a year. (Amusingly, they're also more circumspect about showing off as well; Natsu and Gray immediately start boasting at each other.)
In terms of getting the gang back together again, it's nice to see Gray apologize to Lucy, because she went through some awful stuff at Gomon's hands. What's more amusing is to see Natsu charge in between them while they're talking; while I wouldn't suggest romantic jealousy, it's still clear that he resents being left out of the conversation, and I wouldn't put it past him to have been counting on holding Lucy's poor treatment over Gray's head. Gray clearly has missed Lucy, and that's good to know, because it does imply that the relationships within the guild were not superficial. That doesn't excuse not contacting each other, especially within Team Natsu, but it is a hopeful sign.
Meanwhile, Avatar's plans to summon Zeref by creating a site of mass murder is one that, while perfectly in line with their creepy cult, may be a little difficult for some people at this particular moment. What's more important than their plans is what it says about Zeref's reputation; those who are familiar with Fairy Tail Zero will see the disconnect, but others should be paying attention for it, because it will be there. The mention of the Book of E.N.D. is another major piece of the story's end game worth keeping an eye on, because as things get going, it's a name you're going to need to remember.
With all of this foreshadowing and happy reunioning going on, it's too bad that the art and animation aren't as good as they could be this week. The prime offender is, of course, Erza's horse and his creepy horse grin, but Gray's consistently off-model (especially his pants), and there are a lot of shots where the characters look unfinished. Luckily the story is good enough to offset this, and with more answers coming next week, it seems that will continue to be true.
Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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